This is what Bishkek looks like shortly after 6am. This morning.
From my kitchen table, where I am studying Russian, using my ancient book from 6th grade (Numbers 1-100. And backwards. Impossibly hard for this time of day).
Watching a man walk two black poodles and another doing his boxing practice (without gloves). And this is what it sounds like, Bishkek that early in the morning: traffic sounds slowly emerging. Street sweepers, with these long brooms, sweeping the sidewalks. Soldiers chanting as they are doing their morning run. They sound like Marines running and chanting on a base in Hollywood films. Different text, I guess, but universal military soundscape. That’s the sound that woke me up my first morning in Bishkek. Almost every morning around this time they run past my house, around the park next door, chanting. About a hundred of them. In addition, iTunes playing Louis Armstrong, “Sleepy Town Down South”. Oops, wrong direction. Sleepy Town Up East, of course, here in Bishkek.
By 7am, there is lots going on in the lovely park next to my house: people walking their dogs, people running, people walking in pairs, people reading, people pushing strollers. People cleaning the park. A lot of old people exercising at the jungle gym. Or apparently thinking what the heck with exercise, riding on the red swings instead and really having fun. Which was sweet and made us all laugh.
And this is what the mountains look like from my street, early around 7am. The backdrop to it all:
Busy life in the park. Except the ice cream hut–that is still closed that early in the morning.
Too bad, Mickey Mouse.
Good morning, Bishkek.